With Valentine’s Day around the corner, some of us may be in new relationships, some of us might be married for 20 years, and others of us might be single and open to love. No matter your relationship status, however, the most important thing is for us to work on improving our relationships with ourselves. Glen Ivy Hot Springs tapped UCLA grad, Pilates & Yoga expert, Structural Integrator, and wellness guru Leila Shukur to share with us a few tips on how to learn to love yourself. Self-love comes in all sorts of shapes. By taking care of ourselves, carving out time for ourselves, and making sure to listen to and recognize our own needs, we are able to create a positive relationship to ourselves! When we truly love ourselves, the world is opened up with possibilities. Before I walk you through some of my tips for creating a more positive relationship with yourself, I have a set of rules to adhere to.
Try not to make any comparison. When you start a new beginning with yourself, you want to not compare yourself to a past you. Just start fresh. Next, just delete the need to try to understand yourself. If you are driven by a need to understand, you will never be happy. There is no need to understand why or why not. The human condition wants us to be a really cerebral person, but you need to stop trying to understand, and learn to accept yourself unconditionally, and with a sense of humor. Once you find a sign of a sense of humor in yourself, the process will be much more fun. Allow yourself to make fun of yourself! With that said, here are three key steps to creating the best you.
- Fear is just excitement without breath. When you learn to breathe from a present place, it will help inspire you throughout the day. The only true difference between fear and excitement is the ability to breathe. It’s the first and last thing you’ll ever do, a real vital and inspiring practice. Learning to take yourself to a place where your breath is present is as simple as just practicing five minutes a day, sitting with yourself and breathing. Connecting with your breath will inspire you, and to be inspired draws a sense of excitement. So just breathe. And do things that inspire you to breathe: cardio, driving, meditation!
- Get grounded. Just take off shoes and walking in sand, earth or cold grass. This is a way your body can respond to feeling secure. Ask yourself, how do you experience security? Safety? Your partner? Holding hands? Independence? Being around others? Know what makes you feel secure in any of these ways. You don’t need to know the answer immediately, but it’s important to ask yourself the question to stay grounded.
- Embrace life. Be in a relationship with life where you embracing it, not brace for it. When you are bracing life, nothing is getting any better, you can feel overwhelmed. When you sit in your mind and worry, and you can’t transcend, you cannot embrace. Look at life and embrace the process. Repeat the mantra: embrace do not brace. Do only what you can, without taking on more than you can chew. In order for someone to truly know themselves they have to know what they do, and embrace it.
This article was contributed by Leila Shukur, UCLA grad, Pilates & Yoga expert, Structural Integrator, and wellness guru